As for the Austin part of our trip, we stayed at the Hotel Van Zandt — it’s a Kimpton (Kimpton and InterContinental are IHG, the only two reasons we do IHG spend for points, really) and in general, Kimptons have more personality. The Kimpton Brice in Savannah, for example, is pretty fun.
I also saw that the Van Zandt had received a lot of awards — a few years ago, Conde Nast readers award for #1 in Texas; Robb Report did a feature; some pics made it in at Wallpaper. It’s also right there at Rainey Street, which should probably just become a pedestrian zone at this point: it’s a former neighborhood of little houses that are now repurposed as bar / restaurant / foodtruck lot, repeated over and over. That to say, you could stay at the Van Zandt and do Rainey Street for food and walking around, and you’d be doing fine.
We stayed using points; the check-in was great and our room was nice. The pool was a little small and crowded, but otherwise, the stay was great.
a VZ boot jack, even
and looking down at the pool
Quick mention that supper was at JewBoy Burgers, which was super, super good and the owner was so friendly and great. Told one of my friends about it and he said the owner & place are beloved in Austin. As it is on their website:
A mixture of US/Mexico Border Culture and a traditional Reform Jewish upbringing come together to make burgers, burritos and latkes (among other fried stuff) that honor both cultures.
And yeah, the boys brought home t-shirts.